31 July, 2018

{ ARC Review } Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

about the book }

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
standalone novel... for now
Publishes October 2, 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
e-ARC provided by netgalley
Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.


my review }

♫ ♫

CW: kill your gays trope discussion to come.

I… don’t remember much about this novel, and that’s honestly the first problem with Grim Lovelies. While the idea of the book is so cool, the end result leaves a lot to be desired. 

I will say this though—I’m excited about where it could go. The ending left me with ideas of where Anouk’s story could go next, who she could be. Most of the novel, I experienced her grow from this innocent little beastie. If I have one weakness, it’s watching those sweet, sheltered characters grow into a hardened soldier.

That being said, there isn’t much else I really liked. I mean, there was the idea of witches in Paris and the whole Pretties and beasties thing. Beasties are basically animals turned human and serve Pretties and witches—I think. (re: I don’t remember much about this book.) I felt there were so many ways this book could go, but for more than half the book, it felt like travelling from point A to point B to point C. There wasn’t much action and it was boring.

I could have done without the romance too. The guy, who is still as irrelevant as he was during my time reading Grim Lovelies, was initially friend-zoned but of course, that boring relationship progressed. Guys, there was no chemistry at all. The book could have done without this. The only thing that made up for it—to me, at least—was the fact that I picked up undertones of interest for another character… the villain. So. This is me hoping.

There’s another thing that made me super uncomfortable too. I’m, like, 98% sure there’s that dreaded bury-your-gays trope. From here on out, there will be spoilers for events occurring near the ending. 

Remember what I said about Beasties? How they’re animals turned human? Okay, well, Anouk is one of, like 4 or 5? total in her witch’s household. One of them is gay—and he was described as being the lone wolf, coming off as cruel to the others. He wasn’t always the nicest except to the human boy he was loyal to. 

Near the end, the Beasties face a terrible fate: going back to their original form. But most of them are okay—just, uh, held hostage by The Bad Guys. The gay character, though, is the only one that dies. Which makes me, a) sigh for a thousand years and, b) so tired. If this is the type of thing that keeps you from reading a book—and understandably so—steer clear of Grim Lovelies

With all the pretty Parisian culture and witchy stuff this book had to offer, very little was shown. This book had so much potential! I hold out hope for future sequels, maybe foolishly. I wished this was darker, a bit more action-packed, a little less… dull. Overall, 2 stars.


buy the book }

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